What do you fear? Does fear control your life? It can be uncomfortable and crippling. However, being fearless means knowing how to leverage your fear(s). Fear is part of your brain and run from the depths of your limbic system to your prefrontal cortex. When these networks are stimulated, they produce fear. Having fear is a normal brain function.
Each person responds to fear differently. It may cause an unpleasant experience that ranges from mild to paralyzing. Chronic stress, constant worry and daily insecurity may seriously harm your physical and mental health over time. Fear is part instinct, part learned and partly taught. Pain is instinctual because it useful in survival. We learn fear of certain people, places or situations because negative associations and experiences. Cultural norms are taught and often dictate whether something should be feared or not.
Due to our efficient brains, we begin to fear a range of stimuli that are not necessarily scary or even present. We start to imagine what could happen and hence the fearful response. We create the fear in our minds and this objectless fear can turn into chronic anxiety about nothing specific, which in returns becomes debilitating.
Your fear response becomes amplified when you’re already in a state of fear and even harmless events seem scary. Fear dictates the actions you take and these actions are divided into four types- freeze, fight, flight or fright. When you freeze, you stop what you are doing and focus on the fearful stimulus in deciding what to do next. Then you choose to either fight or flight. When the fear becomes overwhelming, you experience fright and you are cannot do anything. Being constantly in fright mode, may lead to hopelessness and depression.
Everyone reacts differently to threats. Imagine threats cause paralysis and you fail to take any action. Real threats cause frenzy and you jump to action immediately. Learn to leverage your fear to use it to your benefit.
When you know what you are scared of, it is easier to overcome your phobia. It gives you a point of reference and something real to focus on. Once you know what it is, then you can start to understand your fear. First, address your thoughts and attitudes about your fear and then combat your physical response. You can begin to repair your faulty thinking by discussing your fears with others. Next take action against your phobias by coming face-to-face with your fear. You can do this by spending time with someone who deals on a regular basis with what you fear. Once you can face someone else dealing with your face, then you can tackle it yourself little by little.
Do not let your face paralyze your day-to-day routine. Start facing your fears and start living in the present.